Field demonstration of explorer™: A long-range untethered live gas main inspection system

George Vradis, Phil Fowles, Hagen Schempf, Joseph Mallia

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

The field demonstration of Explorer™, a long range, un-tethered, modular, remotely controllable, self-powered inspection robot for the visual inspection of 6- and 8-in. natural gas distribution system pipelines is presented. The robot can negotiate diameter changes, bends and tees up to 90-degrees, as well as inclined and vertical pieces of the piping network. It is launched either vertically or at an angle into the pipeline under live conditions utilizing commercial no-blow fitting and tapping machines and specially designed attachment launching chambers. The modular design of the system allows it to be expanded in the near future to include additional steel pipe wall inspection and/or repair tools. Given that the robot operates without a tether, its range is at least an order of magnitude higher than present state-of-the-art inspection systems and is expected to fundamentally alter the way gas utilities maintain and manage their systems. A prototype system was built and extensively tested. The results of two field demonstrations held in live, low, and high pressure gas mains in the summer and fall of 2004 are presented. The operational and safety issues are discussed and results from the visual inspection of live gas mains are presented. This is an abstract of a paper presented at the Gas Technology Institute's Natural Gas Technologies 2005 Conference (Orlando, FL 1/30/2005-2/2/2005).

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005
EventGTI Natural Gas Technologies 2005: What s New and What s Next - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: Jan 30 2005Feb 2 2005

Other

OtherGTI Natural Gas Technologies 2005: What s New and What s Next
CountryUnited States
CityOrlando, FL
Period1/30/052/2/05

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy(all)

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    Vradis, G., Fowles, P., Schempf, H., & Mallia, J. (2005). Field demonstration of explorer™: A long-range untethered live gas main inspection system. Paper presented at GTI Natural Gas Technologies 2005: What s New and What s Next, Orlando, FL, United States.